CDT Gear List, Part 4: Electronics and Snow Gear

In this fourth post in the series on gear I’ll be bringing for my CDT thru-hike, I’ll get into electronics, miscellaneous, cold weather gear, and snow gear. If you’ve missed the previous posts, you can find the first one here, the second one here, and the third one here.

Electronics and Miscellaneous

Through some kind of miracle my Samsung Galaxy S7 survived the abuse of the PCT and is still alive and kicking, so it comes with me on the CDT.  I’ve added a 2.5-ounce tripod so I can take better pictures, and earbuds so I can listen to music and podcasts. Since I use my phone to take pictures, navigate, as well as for journaling and blogging, I need a big charging capacity. I use a 26,800 mAh powerbank from Anker. This brick weighs 12.8 ounces, but makes sure I don’t run out of power on trail. I use a triple USB-charger and carry three USB to micro USB charging cables. In addition, I carry a Garmin Forerunner 735XT, which allows me to track the GPS route of each day and save it to a journal entry in Day One, something I really appreciate. The watch has a separate charging cable. I pack everything in a waterproof LokSak, and the total weight for my electronic equipment is 1.61 pounds. One thing to consider is the total charging time for all your electronics. Very often, time is a factor when you stop in town or somewhere with access to an electrical outlet. The powerbank I use has dual inputs, and charges from empty to full in just under six hours despite its capacity. With the remaining charger USB-port and cable, I can easily charge my phone, watch, and headlamp (see below) during that time.

For backup navigation I carry a basic Silva compass and will add printed sections of Ley’s paper maps. I have a LokSak wallet with passport, credit card, cash, permits, and insurance paper. On some sections I’ll also carry a Sea to Summit mosquito net. My headlamp is a Petzl Tikka, and I can’t recommend getting the rechargeable core battery enough.

The total weight for electronics and miscellaneous gear is 2.2 pounds.

Snow and Cold Weather Gear

On the PCT, people would often laugh when I said I was carrying two sleeping bags. I previously mentioned that my Western Mountaineering UL is a 20 degree bag, but I sleep comfortably in it to about 30 degrees. So for colder sections, I add a Cumulus Magic 125. At 9.2 ounces, it’s basically a liner with a very hard to beat warmth-to-weight ratio. Combined the two sleeping bags let me sleep like a baby down to about 10 degrees. I appreciate the flexibility of adding and subtracting the liner as the climate changes, and therefore choose this solution over a warmer bag.

In colder temperatures and for snow travel I make the following changes to my gear. I switch to a warmer puffy (the hooded version is unfortunately no longer available), a more robust shell jacket, a base layer shirt to hike in, rain pants instead of rain skirt, snow gaiters instead of Dirty Girl, and hiking pants instead of shorts. I also add a beanie, rain gloves, Microspikes or crampons, and a Petzl Ride ice axe. Most of these items are things I’ve had since before, and not necessarily optimized for this particular thru-hike.

Up next is the final gear post, where I’ll go over clothing and also post a LighterPack link to my complete CDT thru-hike gear list.

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